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APSN – The activist resource site on Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. Over 20 years of archived reports and articles. APSN also has an wide range of essential resources, archived news and press releases, links and background reports on the Asia-Pacific region. Site map

News reports translated from Indonesian language news sources.

Activist group discovers 16 new mass graves from 1965 anti-communist purge
BBC Indonesia – November 16, 2017
A number of locations in the vicinity of Purwodadi, Central Java, have been confirmed as sites of mass grave, places where bodies were disposed of and sites where people accused of being members or sympathisers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were executed in the months after October 1965.

Activist renew call for Papua independence amid alleged 'hostage' standoff
CNN Indonesia – November 14, 2017
Vertical and horizontal conflicts in Papua province will not be resolved until the Indonesian government provides the Papuan people with an opportunity to determine their future through an international forum.

Papua provincial government insists armed separatist group isn't holding people hostage
Warta Plus – November 13, 2017
The Papua provincial government has explicitly refuted a statement by the Papua regional police chief that residents have been taken hostage by an Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in the villages of Banti and Kimbely near the PT Freeport Indonesia mine in Tembagapura district, Mimika regency.

Slum dwellers who rejected Ahok over evictions fall victim to same policies under new governor
Tempo – November 13, 2017
The Central Jakarta municipal government today demolished illegal dwellings in the vicinity of the Western Flood Canal, Jl. Tenaga Listrik and Tanah Abang with residents saying that they were disappointed in Anies-Sandi.

Freeport Indonesia employee denies co-workers held hostage by OPM
KBR – November 13, 2017
An employee at the PT Freeport Indonesia gold-and-copper mine in West Papua, Aser Gobai has refuted information that a PT Freeport worker has been taken hostage by an armed civilian group.

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-Latest News
President Jokowi criticizes Indonesia's political climate
Tempo – November 21, 2017
President Joko Widodo or Jokowi has strong opinions regarding Indonesia's political climate that he thinks is becoming unethical and has forgotten about the values of political politeness.

Sexual harassment on the rise: Report
Tempo – November 20, 2017
Sexual harassment against women continues to rise, according to data from various agencies. Veni Oktarini Siregar, director of Legal Aid Institute for Indonesian Women Association for Justice (LBH APIK) Jakarta, said that his agency receives dozens of reports of sexual harassment against women.

Indonesia's Mr. Teflon finally in the dock
Asia Times – November 20, 2017
Parliament Speaker and Golkar Party chairman Setya Novanto is finally under arrest for his alleged role in one of Indonesia's most egregious ever graft cases, but not before he found yet another way to try and avoid the long arm of the Anti-Corruption Commission..

Toxic cost of rubbish scavenging in East Timor
Aljazeera – November 19, 2017
Smouldering fires. Haphazard explosions. Malnourished children. The disintegration of law and order and the absence of social services.

Indonesian president recognises land rights of nine more indigenous groups
Asia Pacific Report – November 19, 2017
The Indonesian government has relinquished control over nine tracts of forest to the indigenous communities that have lived there for generations, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced at a recent conference on land tenure in Jakarta.

Junta accused of preventing political parties from preparing for election so as to give 'Army Party' an advantage
Ugly Truth Thailand – November 19, 2017
The Thai military junta has been accused of preventing political parties from preparing for any future election so as to give the "Army Party" an advantage.

Indonesian millennials lean towards xenophobia
Asia Times – November 18, 2017
While most of Indonesia's youth appears to have a worldly outlook, recent surveys show some troubling insights into the minds of a significant minority of the two Indonesian generations who hold the Muslim majority country's future in their hands.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative. More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesia: Anti Communist mob forcibly dispersed access to rights workshop
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Action – November 10, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about the forced dissolution of a national workshop on access to economic, social and cultural rights for victims and family members of past human rights abuses in Indonesia.

Civil society in Southeast Asia: 'ASEAN for whom?'
ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples' Forum 2017 Press Release – November 4, 2017
Why prevent people from joining forums tackling issues in ASEAN?

Indonesia: Human Rights merely a NORM under three years of President Widodo
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – October 31, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned that the three years Indonesia has been under President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla's administration, October 2014-October 2017, there remains two years in the presidential term (2014-2019).

Indonesia: Rights agenda for new Jakarta governor
Human Rights Watch Statement – October 26, 2017
Jakarta's new governor, Anies Baswedan, should act to protect and promote human rights in the Indonesian capital, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the governor. Governor Baswedan should make a specific commitment to defend the rights of the city's vulnerable economic, sexual, and religious communities.

Indonesia: Student in West Papua tortured and ill-treated by police officers
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Action – October 23, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from our local partner in Papua about the torture and ill-treatment of a high school student, Yunus Manauri, in Teluk Wondama regency, West Papua province.

HRW Letter to Governor Anies Baswedan
Human Rights Watch – October 22, 2017
Congratulations on your recent election. Human Rights Watch would like to wish you selamat bekerja in carrying out your duties as governor. We encourage you to use your role to protect and promote human rights in the Indonesian capital.

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Absent Ahok, anti-Chinese sentiment on artists' minds at Indonesia shows that test the bounds of tolerance
South China Morning Post – November 17, 2017
There isn't a single image of jailed former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to be seen, but the man commonly referred to by his Hakka Chinese nickname Ahok looms large at one of the biggest events on the Indonesian art calendar.

Indonesia: Why is the Industrial Relations Court failing workers?
Indonesia at Melbourne – November 15, 2017
Every International Labour Day, workers across Indonesia conduct major protests against outsourcing, low wages, and workforce liberalisation policies. This is perhaps to be expected but more surprising are the calls in recent years for the Industrial Relations Court to be closed down.

Indonesia: Behind Indonesia's illiberal turn
New Mandala – October 20, 2017
The past year or so has seen conspicuous setbacks to Indonesian democracy's capacity to protect many social rights, including of some of the more vulnerable members of society – most notably women, religious and sexual minorities, and victims of the 1965-66 mass killings.

Indonesia: A new ideological contestation emerging in Indonesia?
ISEAS Perspectives – October 19, 2017
A long period of ideological vacuum in mainstream politics came to an end in the lead-up to the 2014 presidential elections and was further confirmed in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections.

Indonesia: 52 years after fascist genocide, Indonesians scared of 'communist ghosts'
Dissident Voice – October 9, 2017
It was once again a hot, muggy day in Jakarta. The air was full of pollutants, epic traffic jams blocking entire center of the city. Biasa, as locals would say, or in a lax translation, 'business as usual'.

More >>

Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
Identity politics will be back for 2019 election, researchers warn
Jakarta Globe – November 18, 2017
Identity politics, utilizing ethnic and religious sentiments by politicians to solidify their own political bases, is expected to reemerge during the 2019 presidential election, researchers warn.

Tanzil was paid just $6 a day to work in a fireworks factory which became an inferno
ABC Radio Australia – November 18, 2017
At just 16 years old, Tanzil Alil Uman is just a boy, crying in pain from his hospital bed. His brother sits by his side and wipes the tears from his face as they continually fall.

Freeport evacuating Indonesian mine worker families after shootings – sources
Reuters – November 18, 2017
U.S. miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc is evacuating spouses and children of workers from its giant Indonesian copper mine after a string of shootings in the area raised security concerns, company sources said.

Indonesia's Widodo vowed to 'erase stigma' in Papua. Tell that to the separatists
South China Morning Post – November 17, 2017
Oktovianus Warnares gathered with five other men outside a government building on the picturesque island of Biak, just off the coast of the Indonesian province of Papua.

New mass graves containing about 5,000 suspected victims of Indonesia's 1965 anti-Communist purges found: NGO
Agence France Presse – November 17, 2017
A new set of mass graves from Indonesia's anti-communist purges has been discovered, a victim right's group said Thursday, after recently declassified US documents showed Washington had full knowledge of the extent of the brutal massacres.

Disbelief as Indonesia's 'most wanted' politician in hospital after late-night car crash
South China Morning Post – November 17, 2017
A top Indonesian politician embroiled in a corruption scandal has been hospitalised after a car crash that is being widely mocked online as another tactic to avoid arrest.

Indonesia evacuates villagers after shootings near Freeport mine
Reuters – November 17, 2017
Indonesia on Friday began evacuating villages that authorities said had been occupied by armed separatists after a string of shootings near the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport McMoRan Inc in the eastern province of Papua.

Jakarta least tolerant city in Indonesia: human rights group
Jakarta Post – November 17, 2017
Sectarian and religious lines exploited during the gubernatorial election period has given Jakarta the status of "most intolerant city in Indonesia," a survey conducted by human rights group Setara Institute revealed on Thursday.

More suspected mass graves discovered in Indonesia
Human Rights Watch Dispatches – November 16, 2017
An Indonesian organization representing victims of the mass killings of 1965-66 has located 16 suspected mass graves in central Java that may contain the remains of up to 5,000 victims.

'Allah doesn't care if you are transgender': the Indonesian school fighting a backlash
The Guardian (Australia) – November 16, 2017
When Shinta Ratri prays, like many devout Indonesian women she dons a mukena, a long flowing gown often embroidered with colourful and intricate designs. But she finds it hard to do so in most public mosques in this small city on the Indonesian island of Java.

Neighborhood chief latest to be arrested for stripping and parading young couple in Tangerang
Coconuts Jakarta – November 16, 2017
After arresting four moral vigilantes suspected of parading a young couple naked through the streets of a village in Tangerang Regency on Saturday, authorities have captured two more responsible for the heinous act, one of them being a neighborhood official.

High level of religiosity does not guarantee graft-free Indonesia: Survey
Jakarta Globe – November 16, 2017
A high level of religiosity in Indonesia has no significant impact on the practice of corruption in daily life, a new survey from the Indonesia Survey Institute, or LSI, shows.

Review: Shameful lust for riches under the Timor Sea
The Interpreter – November 15, 2017
Laying bare the greed for petroleum resources that has steered five decades of Australian policy regarding East Timor, Kim McGrath's "Crossing the Line" is a masterfully written and researched piece of scholarship.

Buni Yani, uploader of controversial Ahok 'blasphemy' clip, sentenced to 1.5 years in prison
Coconuts Jakarta – November 14, 2017
Buni Yani, the university lecturer who played a crucial part in Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's imprisonment for blasphemy and his defeat in the Jakarta election, is also heading to jail after being found guilty for violating the Information and Electronic Transactions Act today.

Slum dwellers disappointed in Anies-Sandi for evictions after campaign promises
Coconuts Jakarta – November 14, 2017
Besides the politicized accusation of blasphemy against former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, many said the capital's previous leader was deeply unpopular amongst the capital's poorest citizens due to his relentless policy of evicting slum dwellers judged to be living illegally on government property.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.
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